The Homecoming
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 27 Sep, 1993

[Quark's]

VOICES: Dabo!
ODO: Quark!
QUARK: Not now, Odo.
ODO: We have to talk.
QUARK: It'll have to wait.
ODO: It can't wait.
QUARK: Of course not. Make it fast. I have business to attend to.
ODO: You remember that Subytt freighter we were discussing the other day? The one you claimed was smuggling defective isolinear rods to Bajor?
QUARK: Yes, yes, what about it?
ODO: Well, I conducted a little investigation of that freighter, and do you know what I discovered?
QUARK: That I was telling the truth.
ODO: That's right. I arrested the first officer and two of the crew.
QUARK: Congratulations, Constable, I knew you could do it. Now if you don't mind, I'm needed upstairs.
ODO: Hold on, I'm not finished with you.
QUARK: Oh, really, Odo? Sometimes I think there's no pleasing you. I help you crack a notorious smuggling ring, yet you still insist on treating me like the enemy.
ODO: You are the enemy.
QUARK: Then how do you explain my helping you?
ODO: That's just it. I can't explain it.
QUARK: It's simple, really. I figured we'd been at each others' throats long enough. It's time we called a truce.
ODO: Truce? You must be joking.
QUARK: Ask the Subytt first officer if I'm joking. From now on, you and I are going to be friends.
ODO: You're up to something.
QUARK: Why would you say that?
ODO: Because you're always up to something.
QUARK: I can see this is going to take time, but eventually you'll learn to trust me.
ODO: That'll be the day.
(Odo leaves)
QUARK: I don't think I can remember Odo looking quite so perplexed.
ROM: He's not alone. Those Subytt smugglers were a potential source of great profit.
QUARK: Must I quote you the seventy-sixth Rule of Acquisition?
ROM: The seventy-sixth rule?
QUARK: Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies.
(On the stairs, Quark is stopped by a purple haired lady alien in a closefitting catsuit.)
CAPTAIN: Hi, Quark. How are your lobes?
QUARK: Tingling at the sight of you. What'll it be? Another Black Hole?
CAPTAIN: No, I don't have time. My ship's about to pull out. Do you know of anyone going to Bajor?
QUARK: Ships go back and forth from there all the time. Why?
(The Captain holds up an elaborate Bajoran earring.)
CAPTAIN: I promised someone I'd deliver this for them. Doesn't looks like I'm going to get there this trip.
QUARK: It's an earring.
CAPTAIN: I know it's an earring. It was given to me by a maintenance worker on Cardassia Four.
QUARK: Are you saying a Cardassian gave you a Bajoran earring?
CAPTAIN: He asked me to take it to Bajor. Said whoever I showed it to would understand.
QUARK: He said that?
CAPTAIN: Well, this is a Bajoran station, right? There must be someone here who would know what to do with it.
QUARK: Oh, there is.
CAPTAIN: Who?
QUARK: Me.
(Quark takes the earring and gives her a kiss on the cheek)

[Kira's quarters]

(Kira is praying in front of her home shrine when the doorbell rings.)
KIRA: Come in.
QUARK: Surprise.
KIRA: What do you want?
QUARK: I always wondered what your quarters looked like.
KIRA: That better not be your only reason for being here.
QUARK: You don't entertain much, do you?
KIRA: I entertain a lot. I just don't entertain you.
QUARK: Let me guess, the bedroom.
KIRA: You take one step in here and I promise you it'll be your last.
QUARK: It could be worth it.
KIRA: You have five seconds to tell me what you want.
QUARK: Aren't you going to offer me a beverage?
KIRA: Five, four
QUARK: Can we at least sit down?
KIRA: Three two one.
QUARK: Wait. I brought you something.
(He holds out the earring.)
KIRA: Where did you get this?
QUARK: Is it valuable?
KIRA: I said, where did you get it?
QUARK: From a Boslic freighter Captain. She got it from a Cardassian.
KIRA: Where?
QUARK: On Cardassia Four. That's what she told me, anyway.
(Kira leaves with the earring)
QUARK: Consider it a gift.

[Promenade]

JAKE: (on upper level) Hey, Dad, wait up.
(Jakes hurries down the stairs)
JAKE: You got a minute?
SISKO: For you, absolutely.
JAKE: I've got some great news.
SISKO: You passed your algebra test.
JAKE: Better than that.
SISKO: You learned out how to hit Bob Gibson's fast ball.
JAKE: No, even better.
SISKO: Better than hitting Gibson's fast ball? This I want to hear.
JAKE: You remember that Bajoran girl I told you about?
SISKO: The one with the beautiful smile?
JAKE: That's right, Laira. I decided to ask her out.
SISKO: Well good for you. And now you've come to the old man for advice on what to say to her.
JAKE: Dad, I
SISKO: The main thing is you can't be afraid of rejection
JAKE: Dad, I already asked her out. And she said yes.
SISKO: She did? That's wonderful.
JAKE: I was just wondering if you had any ideas what we could do. I was thinking of taking her to the holosuites.
SISKO: The holosuites? I don't think so.
JAKE: Why not?
SISKO: Because you're too young to take a girl to the holosuites.
JAKE: Okay, then how about if I bring her to our quarters?
SISKO: No, no, no, no, no, no quarters.
JAKE: We're just going to talk.
SISKO: Talk in public.
JAKE: It's not the same.
SISKO: You want to talk? Take her upstairs. And that way you can talk and watch the ships go through the wormhole.
JAKE: That's boring.
SISKO: Since when?
JAKE: Since I started going out with girls.
SISKO: This is your first date.
JAKE: And I don't want it to be my last.
KIRA: Commander. I need to speak with you.
SISKO: One moment, Major.
JAKE: I can see you're not ready to have this conversation yet.
SISKO: I'm not ready?
JAKE: I'll just have to come up with a few ideas on my own. Really, don't worry about it.
SISKO: Who's worried?
(Jake leaves)
KIRA: Commander?
SISKO: Join me, Major.

[Replimat]

SISKO: One Raktajino with a jacarine peel.
KIRA: Nothing for me.
SISKO: One icoberry torte. So, Major, what can I do for you?
KIRA: I need to borrow a runabout.
SISKO: For what?
KIRA: You really don't want to ask me that.
SISKO: It's too late. I already asked.
KIRA: You don't want to know the answer.
SISKO: Major, I can't loan you a Starfleet runabout without knowing where you plan on taking it.
KIRA: To Cardassia Four to rescue a Bajoran prisoner of war.
SISKO: You're right. I wish you hadn't told me.
KIRA: This earring was recently smuggled off the planet. Do you see this? That is the insignia of Li Nalas.
SISKO: The resistance leader?
KIRA: The greatest we ever had. His victory over Gul Zarale in hand-to-hand combat
SISKO: Major, I have already heard the story. Wasn't he reported killed in action?
KIRA: His body was never found. Look, Commander, I wouldn't be asking this if I thought there was another way to rescue Li. But Bajoran ships don't have the manoeuvrability or defensive capabilities to get me safely in and out of Cardassian territory.
SISKO: You're sure this is genuine?
KIRA: Dax found dermal residue on the back. A genetic analysis matched it to Li's DNA records. It's genuine all right.
SISKO: Have you told the provisional government?
KIRA: I contacted three ministers. Their response was exactly what I expected.
SISKO: In other words, they're unwilling to risk going to war with Cardassia over an earring. I can't say I blame them.
KIRA: Commander, you and I both know the provisional government is made up of political opportunists too busy fighting among themselves to care what happens to Bajor. Since the loss of the Kai, the situation has only gone from bad to worse. There are reports of factional fighting in half a dozen districts, religious riots have spread throughout the southern islands. Bajor needs a leader. Someone the people will listen to. Someone they can trust.
SISKO: And you think Li Nalas is that leader?
KIRA: I know he is.
O'BRIEN [OC]: O'Brien to Sisko.
SISKO: Go ahead, Chief.
O'BRIEN [OC]: I think you and Odo had better join me in the habitat ring. Level thirteen, section four. There's something you should see.
SISKO: We'll be right there.
KIRA: Do I get the runabout?
SISKO: I'll have to think it over.

[Corridor]

O'BRIEN: I was on my way to crossover bridge three to do some repair work on the field modulators when I noticed this.
(Spray paint graffiti on the wall in vivid yellow)
SISKO: It's the emblem of the Alliance for Global Unity. They call themselves The Circle.
O'BRIEN: The Circle, huh. What gives them the right to mess up our station?
ODO: They're an extremist faction who believe in Bajor for the Bajorans. All other species are inferior and should be expelled from the planet.
SISKO: I understand this emblem has appeared all over Bajor.
ODO: That's correct. But this is the first time I've seen it here.
SISKO: I want to be informed immediately if this emblem appears anyplace else on the station.
ODO: Understood.
O'BRIEN: If they think scrawling a few of signs is going to get rid of us, they've got another think coming.
SISKO: Right now they're just trying us show us we're vulnerable.
ODO: I wouldn't be overly concerned, Commander. This section is a low security area.
SISKO: As of now, Constable, there are no low security areas on this station.

[Commander's office]

(Sisko is tossing a baseball from hand to hand like it was red hot)
DAX: You wanted to see me, Benjamin?
SISKO: Ah, yes. Have a seat.
(Throws the ball to her)
DAX: Am I to assume this is going to be about baseball?
SISKO: Not this time.
DAX: Good.
SISKO: I thought you enjoyed talking about baseball.
DAX: Curzon enjoyed it, but not half as much as he led you to believe. So what's on your mind, Benjamin.
SISKO: I've been thinking about our mission here. I look at the turmoil on Bajor and I see everything we fought for this past year starting to unravel.
DAX: I told you this was going to be a tough assignment when we came here. Of course, I didn't realise it was going to be this tough.
SISKO: What if I told you I knew someone who could bring stability to Bajor. Someone who could unite the factions and give us a chance to do our job.
DAX: I'd say give Kira the runabout.
SISKO: How do you know about Kira wanting a runabout?
DAX: I promised not to tell.
SISKO: Supposing I do help, and she does rescue Li Nalas. What do we say to the Cardassians?
DAX: The question is, what do they say to us? They swore they released all their Bajoran prisoners.

[Ops]

(Dax goes over to Kira, smiles and squeezes her arm. Sisko comes out of his office and gives Kira the nod.)
SISKO: Chief, Major Kira needs a runabout.
O'BRIEN: Oh, so she's going to Cardassia Four after all.
SISKO: Is there anyone on this station she didn't tell?
O'BRIEN: I doubt she mentioned it to Quark.
SISKO: Well then, as far as Quark's concerned, she's going to Lamenda Prime to bring back mineral samples.
O'BRIEN: I see.
SISKO: Now, is there any way we can prevent the Cardassian sensors from picking up the runabout's signature?
O'BRIEN: I could modulate the engine's power emissions, reconfigure the deflector shield grid, and install field buffers around the subspace emitter coil. By the time I'm done, the Cardassians will think they're reading a Lissepian transport.
SISKO: Yeah. I see you've already given this a bit of thought.
O'BRIEN: I suppose I have.

[Kira's quarters]

(Kira is in civilian clothes)
KIRA: Come in.
(Sisko and O'Brien enter. O'Brien is in civilian clothes.)
KIRA: Commander, Chief, I was just getting ready to leave.
SISKO: I just stopped by to wish you luck. And to tell you that Chief O'Brien will be accompanying you on your mission.
KIRA: I don't think that's a good idea. Having a Federation officer along could cause complications for you later.
SISKO: I'm willing to risk that. You're an excellent pilot, Major, but Mister O'Brien here is better. And I want to make sure that I get my runabout back in one piece.
KIRA: I appreciate the offer, but this is a Bajoran problem.
SISKO: I don't agree. The truth is, I need Li Nalas back on Bajor as much as you do.
O'BRIEN: Besides, I've seen how the Cardassians treat their prisoners. No one should have to suffer like that.
KIRA: If the Cardassians get their hands on us, we'll be the ones suffering.
O'BRIEN: They'll have to catch us first.
KIRA: I suppose I could use the company.

[Runabout Rio Grande]

KIRA: You've got the controls, Chief.
O'BRIEN: Right.
KIRA: Before we go, there's one thing we need to clear up between us.
O'BRIEN: And what would that be?
KIRA: This mission can end only one of two ways. Either we bring back Li Nalas or we don't come back at all.
O'BRIEN: Understood.
KIRA: Then take us out of here, Mister O'Brien.
O'BRIEN: Initialising launch sequence.
(And off they go)
(Later)
KIRA: How much long till we reach Cardassia Four?
O'BRIEN: I estimate another thirty minutes.
KIRA: Hold on. We're being scanned.
O'BRIEN: Can you get a fix on the source?
KIRA: It's position is holding steady at bearing two one nine mark two three.
O'BRIEN: It must be a navigational control post. It's probably just a routine scan.
KIRA: We're being hailed.
O'BRIEN: Then again, we could be in serious trouble.
KIRA: They're repeating the hail.
O'BRIEN: We're on the edge of their scanner range. That puts us out of visual contact. I say we try and bluff them.
KIRA: Opening a channel.
CARDASSIAN [OC]: This is Cardassian navigational control post twenty four. Identify yourself.
KIRA: This is the Lissepian transport Martuk.
CARDASSIAN [OC]: According to our scan, your subspace field emitters appear to be malfunctioning.
O'BRIEN: The field buffers must be distorting our power signature.
KIRA: We've been having trouble with our phase modulators. We're attempting to correct the problem.
CARDASSIAN [OC]: Do you require assistance? We can dispatch a repair ship.
O'BRIEN: They want to help us?
KIRA: Your offer is most appreciated, post twenty four, but unnecessary.
CARDASSIAN [OC]: Are you certain? Your power signature is still fluctuating.
KIRA: He's getting suspicious. I believe we can correct the problem on our own. Besides, Gul Marayn is waiting on Cardassia Four to receive my shipment of Rulot seeds. Any delay could ruin the entire crop, not to mention the Gul's mood.
CARDASSIAN [OC]: Understood. You can put in for repairs after you deliver your cargo.
KIRA: My plan exactly. He's cut off their transmission.
O'BRIEN: Tell me, Major, who is this Gul Marayn.
KIRA: Don't ask me. I just made him up.
(They arrive at the orange planet)
O'BRIEN: We're in synchronous orbit above the Hutet Labour camp. I've limited the bioscans to detect only Bajoran lifeforms. Hold on. We're getting multiple readings. There must be about a dozen Bajoran prisoners down there.
KIRA: What? Is there any way of beaming up more than two at a time?
O'BRIEN: I'm afraid not. As soon as we beam the first two up, all hell is going to break loose in that camp.
KIRA: And there's no way of guaranteeing Li will be one of the first two. What's security like down there?
O'BRIEN: The compound is surrounded by a standard Cardassian forcefield.
KIRA: We're going to have to land. It's our only chance of getting them all out of there.
O'BRIEN: I'll find us a secluded spot to put down.

[Labour camp]

(It's hot and dry and the prisoners are loading rocks into baskets.)
GUARD: Back to work.
(O'Brien and Kira approach the fence)
KIRA: How do I look?
O'BRIEN: I doubt there's a Cardassian alive who could resist you.
KIRA: I hope you're right.
O'BRIEN: So do I.
OVERSEER: Halt.
O'BRIEN: We want to see the Prefect.
OVERSEER: What for?
O'BRIEN: She has an appointment with him.
OVERSEER: I used to be stationed on Bajor.
O'BRIEN: Then you know why the Prefect doesn't want to be kept waiting, huh?
LI: What's this all about?
BORUM: I'm not quite sure.
OVERSEER: What would it cost me for an appointment?
KIRA: More than you could afford.
O'BRIEN: Two strips of gold-pressed latinum, she's all yours.
KIRA: He wouldn't know what to do with me.
OVERSEER: She needs disciplining.
KIRA: From a boy like you? Ha! I don't think you're capable of it.
OVERSEER: Step back. I want to examine what I'm paying for.
O'BRIEN: Sure, sure. But no sampling the merchandise until the sale's complete, okay?
OVERSEER: Come here.
(And the Cardassian opens a gap in the forcefield. (Kira goes through but O'Brien gets blocked.)
OVERSEER: Now, show me why you're worth two strips of gold-pressed latinum.
KIRA: All right.
(She starts to unfasten her top then thumps him in the face. More punches, he's down, the other guard gets shot and Kira gets the forcefield open. O'Brien takes out the man on the ridge.)
KIRA: Li Nalas!
LI: Who are you?
KIRA: Major Kira Nerys. We've come to get you out of here.
BORUM: The earring. You got it.
KIRA: Yes.
LI: I don't understand. My earring was lost.
BORUM: No, I had it smuggled back to Bajor.
O'BRIEN: Gentlemen, I suggest you save this discussion for later, okay?
KIRA: Come on.
(Li is wounded by another guard up the cliff, but O'Brien gets him. A prisoner at the back of the group is killed.)
KIRA: Come on. We have a ship waiting.
(The group run out of the compound, pursued by Cardassians. They get around a corner in the cliff face.)
O'BRIEN: We'll never make it at this rate.
BORUM: Get Li to Bajor. Four of us will stay behind and hold them off until you reach your ship.
LI: No, I won't allow it.
BORUM: Don't you see? We did this for you. Just get him back safely. That's all that counts.
KIRA: You have my word. Come on. Come on.
(Kira gives the phaser to Borum) 
BORUM: Go.
(Borum takes O'Brien's place at the corner of the cliff)

[Runabout Rio Grande]

KIRA: Come on.
(Everyone piles in.)
O'BRIEN: Ready to launch, Major.
KIRA: Not yet. Some of the others still might make it.
O'BRIEN: Standing by. I'm picking up two Galor class warships entering orbit. They should be overhead in one minute, forty five seconds.
LI: Major, you can't leave those men behind.
O'BRIEN: One minute, thirty seconds. If we don't leave now, Major, we never will.
KIRA: Take us home, Chief.
O'BRIEN: Yes, sir.

[Airlock corridor]

KIRA: Careful, he took a phaser hit.
BASHIR: Easy now, I have you.
LI: Doctor, these people have been prisoners for ten years. They need medical attention.
BASHIR: And they'll get it. But first we'd better take a look at this wound. Bashir to Dax.
DAX [OC]: Go ahead, Doctor.
BASHIR: We've got a patient who needs emergency treatment. Beam us to the Infirmary.
DAX: Stand by.

[Commander's office]

KIRA: Commander, I need to talk to you.
(Then she spots Dukat on the monitor.)
SISKO: Ah, Major Kira, I'm glad you could join us.
KIRA: I'm sorry. I didn't know you were busy.
SISKO: Apparently not.
KIRA: I'll just wait outside.
SISKO: Hold on, Major. There's something I want you to hear. Go ahead, Dukat.
DUKAT [on monitor]: Major, I have just informed Commander Sisko that the Cardassian High Command has issued a formal apology to the people of Bajor.
KIRA: An apology?
DUKAT [on monitor]: We had no idea that Bajoran prisoners were still being held on Cardassia Four. Such detentions are a direct violation of supreme directive twenty six forty five, and I assure you the camp Prefect will be chastised accordingly.
KIRA: What about the prisoners that were left behind?
DUKAT [on monitor]: They are already en route to Bajor.
KIRA: Well, I look forward to their safe return.
DUKAT: I'm sure you do. And I hope our quick response to this unfortunate situation will prove once and for all that Cardassia is no longer your enemy.
(transmission ends)
KIRA: Commander?
SISKO: I'm as surprised as you are.
KIRA: There's got be a reason why they're being so accommodating.
SISKO: I'm sure there is, but until we can figure out their motives, let's just be grateful that all the prisoners are being returned safely. Congratulations on the success of your mission, Major.

[Infirmary]

(Li is on his stomach, getting treated.)
BASHIR: There, that should do it. How do you feel?
LI: Better.
BASHIR: Good. Luckily your wound wasn't as serious as it looked. You've probably had a lot worse.
LI: Well, actually, this one was bad enough.
BASHIR: You know, I've read all about your battle with Gul Zarale.
LI: That was a long time ago.
BASHIR: Well, I consider myself to be a bit a history buff and I must say some of the campaigns you led against the Cardassians were truly remarkable
LI: Doctor, I think that you'll find that others enjoy talking about those days far more than I do.
BASHIR: Of course. I understand completely.

[Promenade]

LI: Amazing.
KIRA: What is?
LI: Being here. Years ago I worked in one of this station's ore processing plants.
SISKO: I think you will find things have changed considerably.
ODO: Commander, a transport carrying Minister Jaro has just arrived from Bajor.
SISKO: Major, I think you should have the honour of welcoming him aboard.
KIRA: Thank you, Commander.

[Replimat]

SISKO: If you're hungry, the Replimat has some passable Bajoran food.
LI: Actually, I'm a bit tired. I think I'd like to see my quarters.
SISKO: Of course.
(A crowd is gathering)
SISKO: It appears you've been recognised.

[Airlock corridor]

KIRA: Minister Jaro.
JARO: Major. Where is he?
KIRA: He's on the Promenade with Commander Sisko.
JARO: And he's all right?
KIRA: Considering what he's gone through in the past ten years.
JARO: Li Nalas alive. Who would have ever imagined. The prophets were kind to you today, Major.
KIRA: I'd say they were kind to all of us.
JARO: You know your little adventure has made you some enemies in the Chamber of Ministers.
KIRA: I'm not surprised. All I did was risk my life.
JARO: What you did, Major, was declare war on Cardassia. Thankfully they declined the invitation.
KIRA: I'd do it again if it meant bringing Li Nalas home.
JARO: Yes, I'm sure you would. And though officially I have to warn you that the next time you disobey orders will mean the end of your military career, as a private citizen I want to thank you for what you've done this day.
KIRA: That's good to hear.
JARO: Now take me to see Li Nalas.

[Replimat]

(Crowd control has been brought in)
ODO: Move it back, please. No pushing. No pushing.
LI: I'm sorry about this, Commander.
SISKO: I don't think they're going to leave until you say a few words.
ODO: I agree.
LI: If that's what it takes.
(He gets up and faces the crowd.)
LI: It's good to be free. It's good to know that after all our years of struggle, Bajor is finally free.
JARO: Yes, it is good to be free. Well, it really is you, isn't it.
LI: Li Nalas.
JARO: I'm Minister Jaro Essa. I can't tell you how delighted I am to welcome you home.
LI: Believe me, it is a pleasure to be here.
JARO: Would you mind if I address the crowd? Yu can't expect a politician to give up an opportunity like this.
LI: You go right ahead.
JARO: Thank you. Fellow Bajorans, I have only one thing to say to you, to ask you, really. Never forget this moment. Because I promise you one day your children and your grandchildren will ask you know what it was like the day Li Nalas returned to Bajor.

[Guest quarters]

SISKO: I hope you'll find these quarters satisfactory.
LI: Commander, I just spent ten years in a Cardassian labour camp. I'm just grateful for a moment's privacy.
SISKO: Enjoy it while you can. Judging from the crowd on the Promenade, a moment may be all you get.
LI: I thought they would have forgotten me by now.
SISKO: It appears you were wrong.
LI: This morning I was a slave, tonight I am a hero.
SISKO: It must seem a little overwhelming.
LI: I'll tell you what is overwhelming, Commander. It's knowing that something I've waited for my whole life has finally happened. The Cardassians are gone. We won. You've been there recently. What's it like, a free Bajor?
SISKO: I think you'll be pleased, for the most part.
LI: For the most part?
SISKO: Bajor lacks strong leadership.
LI: So that's what Major Kira meant. On the runabout, she told me that my return would bring stability to Bajor.
SISKO: She's right. Bajor could use your help, and frankly so could I. But before you go off saving Bajor, I suppose you could use a good night's sleep.
LI: It sounds like I'm going to need it.

[Quark's]

(After hours)
QUARK: One for you, and six for me. One for you, and six for me. One for you, and six for me. Would you stop looking so glum? Payday is supposed to be a time of joy.
ROM: I know, brother, but every week it's the same thing. Six for you and only one for me. It's not fair!
QUARK: You're right.
ROM: I am?
QUARK: Yes. It's not fair.
ROM: It's not?
QUARK: Absolutely not. One for you, and seven for me. One for you, and seven for me. Is that better? And where are you going?
ROM: To bed. To dream of an equal share of profits.
QUARK: Dream on.
(Rom leaves)
QUARK: One for you, seven for me. What is it now?
(Three masked figures grab Quark, gag him and we hear someone use something that sizzles on his flesh)
(Later, medical help has arrived and we see the Circle brand on Quark's head.)
BASHIR: Quark, Quark! Hold still.
QUARK: Doctor, will there be a scar?
BASHIR: I said, hold still.
QUARK: Does that mean yes?
BASHIR: No. This dermal regenerator should repair and damaged tissue as well as prevent scarring. Unless, of course, you don't hold still.
SISKO: Did you recognise any of your assailants?
QUARK: They were wearing masks.
KIRA: And you're sure they didn't say anything?
QUARK: Not a word. They just came in, branded me and left.
ODO: The Promenade is usually deserted at this hour. No one saw them enter or leave.
SISKO: Constable, I want all security personnel on full alert.
ODO: I've already seen to it.
LI: Who is responsible for this?
KIRA: An extremist group from Bajor, who call themselves The Circle.
LI: Bajorans did this?
SISKO: I'm afraid so.
LI: But why?
KIRA: Their goal is to rid Bajor of all non-Bajorans.
LI: Hasn't the provisional government tried to stop them?
KIRA: Oh, they've tried. But the truth is the Circle is more organised than the government.
QUARK: Well, the government better get organised, because I intend to sue them for financial compensation.
SISKO: Not now, Quark! People have grown impatient with the government's inability to get things done, so they turn to the Circle. Constable.
(Sisko and Odo leave)
KIRA: We need someone to speak out against these reactionaries. Someone the people will listen to.
BASHIR: There, that should do it.
QUARK: How do I look?
KIRA: As handsome as ever.
QUARK: Really?

[Sisko's quarters]

SISKO: Jake, what are you doing up?
JAKE: I couldn't sleep.
SISKO: How was your date? It was tonight, wasn't it?
JAKE: It was supposed to be. She couldn't make it.
SISKO: It happens.
JAKE: She said her father wouldn't let her go out with me.
SISKO: Why not?
JAKE: Because I'm not a Bajoran.
SISKO: That's not much of a reason. Jake, there are some things happening on Bajor. Troubling things. I'm sorry you've become a victim of them. You don't deserve it. Nobody does. Time for bed, okay?
JAKE: Okay. Night, Dad.
CREWWOMAN: [OC]: Commander, there's a call for you from the Tygarian freighter docked on upper pylon two.
SISKO: Put it through.
DOEK [on monitor]: Commander Sisko, I am Romah Doek, executive officer of the Nanut. We were preparing to depart the station for the Gamma Quadrant when we discovered a Bajoran citizen trying to stow away on ship. I was hoping you'd know what to do with him.
(The Li Nalas comes onto the screen.)

[Commander's office]

SISKO: The Nanut isn't scheduled to return from the Gamma Quadrant for two years.
LI: Actually I planned on staying there considerably longer.
SISKO: I don't follow.
LI: Commander, I'm going to tell you a story. You may even believe it.
SISKO: I'm listening.
LI: During the occupation I was a member of a minor resistance cell, the name is unimportant. One day, this was in the mountains surrounding the Sahving valley, we were ambushed by Cardassian troops. Only three of us managed to escape. We hid in the hills for two days. Finally the lack of food and water forced us down into the valley. We made our way to a ridge overlooking a small lake. As I was the only one still carrying a phaser, I went ahead to scout for the enemy. Halfway down the embankment, I slipped and went sprawling on my back down to the edge of the lake just as a huge Cardassian emerged from the water. He must have just finished bathing. He stood there, frozen in surprise, dressed only in his underwear, shivering from the cold. I lay there looking up at him too stunned to even move, and it was only when he reached for a phaser rifle that was lying across his clothes on a nearby rock that I realised I was still holding my own phaser, and I shot him. His body fell on top of me, and that's how my companions found us a moment later. One of them recognised him as Gul Zarale, responsible for the massacre of half a dozen Bajoran villages. Now I tried to tell them what happened, but they had already convinced themselves that I had killed Zarale in some kind of savage struggle, which is what they insisted on telling every Bajoran that we met. And no matter how hard I tried to deny it, the story continued to spread until it seemed all of Bajor had heard it. Soon every victory won by the resistance was attributed to my leadership. Stories of my brilliance, my daring, my courage grew more and more unbelievable, yet the people insisted on believing them. My reputation even followed me into the labour camp where my mere presence seemed to inspire my fellow prisoners. And I had done nothing but shoot an unarmed Cardassian in his underwear. I'll never forget the look on his face as he died. He was so embarrassed. So you see, Commander, I have done what Bajor needed me to do. I have allowed myself to be a slave to my reputation all of these years, and now it is enough.
SISKO: They still need you.
LI: But I am not the man that they think I am.
SISKO: Perhaps not. But Bajor doesn't need a man. It needs a symbol, and that's what you are. No one's asking you to lead troops into battle, or to kill a hundred Cardassians with your bare hands. I saw you in front of the crowd on the Promenade. They look at you and they see strength, and honour, and decency. They look at you and they see the best in themselves.
LI: But it's all based on a lie.
SISKO: No. It's based on a legend. And legends are as powerful as any truth. Bajor still needs that legend. It needs you.

[Ops]

DAX: The Yelikan transport is prepared for departure.
KIRA: Opening mooring clamps on docking bay six.
SISKO: Major.
(Jaro and Li enter)
JARO: Commander.
SISKO: Minister Jaro. Li.
JARO: Navarch Li, as of yesterday's unanimous assembly vote.
KIRA: Congratulations.
LI: Navarch. There's never been one before. They felt any existing title was inadequate, so they created a new one for me.
SISKO: I hear that thousands of people showed up to greet your ship when it arrived on Bajor.
LI: Yes, it was quite a celebration. I wish I could have stayed longer.
SISKO: What stopped you?
JARO: The Navarch needed to return here to assume his new post. He's been made the Bajoran liaison officer to Deep Space Nine.
SISKO: I already have a liaison officer.
JARO: Not any more you don't. Major Kira is no longer assigned to this post. She's been recalled to Bajor.

To Be Continued

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